Day 19

Today marks the nineteenth day of our journey for Prototype. It’s really interesting how many empty retail spaces there are in Los Angeles county one would think we would of found something by now. Everything seems to be located next to or across from an existing salon,  in grungy looking areas, or not the right size. We’ve even received discrimination from property owners. This can be very discouraging for any small business owner. Another obstacle we seem to be running through is the opinions from individuals who feel they know what you should and shouldn’t be doing. Luckily  we knew that was something to expect. I’m just glad I was able to endure this as a designer and now that I’ve slightly switched industries nothing seems to phase me, especially when everything continues to fall into place. Who wants to spend their life working hard and making someone else money 5+ days a week to only be rewarded 2 days of freedom? I’m sorry but what’s the use of being paid well and only having 48 hours a week to enjoy it? With that being said shout out to all the business owners who never let anyone or thing stand in the way of their goals.

The options so far

The options so far

Jis Show

Last week I have the pleasure of working the JIS show in Miami. The JIS show is marketed towards jewelry stores and boutiques owners that carry anywhere from fashion and real jewelry. The show also has vendors who sale loose diamonds, beads, and other jewelry making supplies.

We’ve done hundred of shows and for some reason everything that could go wrong DID! From shelving issues to our shipment opening during transit. Needless to say some much needed supplies were lost but the show must go on. As a business owner you need to be prepared for the worst and though this isn’t my business I was creative enough to come up with a bunch of plan B’s to save the day. So the shelves my boss originally wanted were unavailable..find another option and make them work. From the employees in the office not taking the time to organize our products which would have speeded up set up to none of our booth furniture being in our booth on the day of setup. How am I suppose to display necklaces with no necks?? UGH!!

All the craziness from this show really showed me that not only can I handle having a business, I can handle the stress of having a business in the wholesale market (I guess theres hope for my designing after all😀 !!). Though trade shows are super expensive with the upfront costs the potential buyers and exposure your business receives outways it all. I don’t know..I guess we’ll see what the future holds for my craft..

Here are a few pix of our booth and me bored during the slow moments at the show..

 

Next week we will be showing at Select in the California Market Center.. Im sooooo glad all i have to do is help set up. Sometimes it sucks selling other designers products..

 

Until next time..

***LR

October already?!?!?

The year is flying by! I can’t believe October is here already, where has the time gone?? Ive been so busy running other peoples businesses & doing freelance work that i haven’t made time for mine, especially for designing and this blog. Thats all going to change in the spring when I officially go part time. So I guess this little 4-5 month sacrifice isn’t so bad right? There are so many things in the works I just wish I wouldn’t have made the launch date so far in advance, but we all know that time is needed to prep for the success of 2 major releases. Failure is not an option especially if its due to ridiculous rush jobs and sloppy mistakes.

With that being said, thank you to all who have supported me and my dreams in the past I just hope I receive that same support for in the future. In my opinion the world of fashion is a competitive war zone. Instead of guns and bombs they have shoes & clothes LOL. With all the positive and negative situations Ive made it through I know its all been a preparation for what I ultimately want for my future….Moving forward I really need to make the time to keep Leondra Renee on the radar. So lets start with this;

This week will definitely be more practice for my business since Ill be working another jewelry trade show (OH JOY!! -__- ). At least I get the fun of merchandising our booth by myself again. Did I mention I looooove merchandising!! before and after pix will be posted🙂 on Wednesday

***Lee

Designer + Buyer = ME!

Some of you may know that I have opened up a new online/traveling boutique. For those who don’t, heres a quick blurb about it..

Late last year I decided to go in to business with one of my great friends, thus Beyond the Tag was born. BTT is a men & women’s boutique which features products from lesser known brands and local designers. Since we have yet to find the perfect location for our little shop you can only find us online (www.beyondthetag.com) and at local shopping events.

Now that that is out the way..lets get back to the subject at hand.

The Designer (Leondra Renee)

Being a designer is great but can be really stressful and overwhelming at times. Especially if your funding it without the help of investors or loans. Now don’t get me wrong I love being a designer, I mean who doesn’t like seeing their creations being worn? But somedays I just feel like throwing in the towel. There is so much competition from other up and coming designers, chain stores like H & M and Forever 21 (grits teeth), and what I like to call “Fashion Stores” which are those random stores that have super cheap cheap cheap crap quality clothing that we all have purchased from (eyes rolling) how in the world can designer survive? Especially being a designer in LA. EVERYONE IS A DESIGNER..specifically a jewelry designer. Then you have the fun tasks of dealing with manufactures, production issues, and deadlines. It just gets really hard out here for the little guys when your trying to produce quality products at a decent rate and companies want to price gauge because they feel your minimums aren’t worth their time or that your willing to pay any price they offer. With all these obstacles I understand why business would rather just buy and resell.

The Buyer (Beyond the Tag)

Since Ive officially become a buyer I have less to worry about. All I need to think about is what our budget is and what products are missing for our shop. No stress right?? Guess again. Now that Im on the buying in I get to deal with the wonder tasks of vendors delivery dates, products being out of stock, designs being cancelled, sizing issues, and trying to find quality products at a decent price. The only good part about being a buyer is you don’t have to worry about half the things designers need to. Everything you supply is ready to go. Though being a buyer is fun & a little easier at times, I just can’t seem to find exactly what Im looking for. I guess you can say its the designer in me always wanting to be the creator of products.

With all the obstacles designers go through I can’t seem to quit. I think the record has been set with the number of times I have thrown in the towel and picked it up again. Ive come to realization that I will never being happy just being a boutique owner. Creating is inside me and putting a cap on that just won’t do. I know this life is going to be crazy & hectic at times but hey I think we all need the excitement to keep life interesting. Overall its a crazy playing both rolls in this world of fashion. I really like being a designer but I think I am beginning to enjoy being a designer and a buyer.

***Lee

Bad Hair Day

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I don’t know why I always feel like Domo when I’m having a major bad hair day…Maybe its because his face captures how I really feel inside (ahhhhhhhhhhh!!! my haiiiirrrr!!!!! LOL). I guess I can thank cycle (AKA psycho) class for the bad hair days.

Hope I’m not the only one with Domo hair days:-/ ..I guess you can say I’m really really REALLY looking forward to my hair appointment this Saturday. Phew..its gonna be a looooong week

& for those of you who need more of this Domo fix check out http://www.domonation.com/

***Lee

Vintage Classics

I love love love muscle cars..today I saw one of my faves “the chevy nova”..I mean look at this lady in her little black dress

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I had to be discreet snapping a pix of this feisty gal lol. One thing I can say is that its inspiring a little design or 2 for my upcoming collection..

Enjoy the peek-a-boo shot of the Nova..my future lady..for this beautiful Sunday afternoon

***Lee